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Month: May 2015

Just How Much Is That House Worth in Bankruptcy?

Many New York bankruptcies involve debtors’ houses. A house’s value in bankruptcy can play a crucial role in a number of ways, notably homestead exemptions, discharging underwater junior mortgages, and even choosing between chapter 7 or 13. It’s a big deal. But how do you know how much the house is worth? And just as …

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When the Trustee Thinks College Tuition Is a Fraudulent Transfer

It might be farcical, but sometimes bankruptcy trustees will file lawsuits against universities in consumer bankruptcy cases. If parents pay for their children’s college tuition with money that could go to creditors, then the trustees might have a case. To combat this possibility, New York’s own Representative Chris Collins offered a bill in Congress that …

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Moving to New York for Its Homestead Exemption Is Not a Good Idea

In New York bankruptcy, debtor homeowners can benefit from a fairly generous homestead exemption. Real property located in the counties in New York City, Long Island, as well as Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties, get a $150,000 exemption. The exemption in Dutchess, Albany, Columbia, Orange, Saratoga, and Ulster counties is $125,000. Finally, homeowners elsewhere in …

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Supreme Court Holds That Denied Chapter 13 Plans Cannot Be Appealed

A few months back I noted that the U.S. Supreme Court was going to hear a case on whether the denial of a chapter 13 repayment plan could be appealed. The justices of the Court may not see eye to eye on many issues, but in this case they unanimously held that the answer is …

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Surrendering Real Estate Might Not Work in Bankruptcy

In New York bankruptcy it’s possible, but not common, for debtors to unsuccessfully surrender their homes or other real estate. They receive their discharges, exit bankruptcy, and find that they still own the property with a mortgage lien still attached to it. How can something so bizarre happen? Answer: Just because you say you want …

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Stay in Chapter 7 by Deducting Your Health Insurance

Lacking health insurance is almost always a bad idea. People who are injured can end up borrowing large amounts of money that they can’t manage, but there’s one situation in New York bankruptcy where lacking health insurance might not be an impediment: Debtors who don’t have health insurance might still be able to deduct it …

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